Posted by|22 April 2014
Today is Earth Day and we are celebrating the Facilities Department here at Mountain Rose Herbs! Our approach is a bit different from what you’d expect to find at a more traditional company.
Our Facilities team sees their main job as providing customer service for each and every one of their fellow employees. Most importantly, we depend on them to help us hold to our Zero Waste pledge. This team works the same hours and shifts as everyone else (no midnight vacuuming around here) and every person on the team does every task. This includes hand-sorting every piece of recycling, trash, and used materials to keep usable “waste” out of the landfill.
Mountain Rose Herbs sends less than one full dumpster of trash to the disposal site each month. That’s equivalent to a typical family of four. An estimated 26,441 pounds of our would-be trash are diverted from the landfill each year and repurposed! That’s huge!
When I sat down with our Facilities Manager, Mike, he shared that our efficiency for recycling has actually increased as our company has grown. Our first priority is to make sure we only use what we need—we strive to minimize packaging and limit excess on our office supply purchases. We sort and reuse packaging from incoming products whenever possible. Constant employee education helps keep us focused on the priority to be Zero Waste, too. From staff trainings to instructional signage to continuously looking for new ways to make our used materials sing again, managing waste is a labor of love.
Having been an integral part of the growing Mountain Rose Herbs team for 8 years, Mike can’t help sharing his appreciation, “I’m extremely proud of our crew—they tackle a difficult job with a great attitude and I always get positive feedback from everyone about our Facilities team.”
Mountain Rose Herbs has three Master Recyclers on staff throughout the company, including Troy, a Master Recycler who has also been a part of our Facilities team for several years. A big part of Troy’s job is finding genuinely useful, local, and mutually-beneficial homes for the materials others might think of as garbage.
As you may know, things are always changing in the recycling world, so we must also work to find new partners and collaborators. We share what we can with St. Vincent de Paul and Next Step Recycling. If we can’t find a way to recycle something, we actually hold onto the material until a reasonable solution can be found rather than sending it into the landfill.
We also compost, recycle, and create wonders out of waste in the following ways:
* All food waste from our break room and staff, along with herb and other organic matter is composted. Some is also used as organic compost for local nurseries.
* Bottle caps, twist ties, and other items that can be used for arts and crafts projects are delivered to MECCA (Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts), a local non-profit
* We send unusable pallets (we reuse the same pallets for as long as possible) and any unusable wood to be chipped and reinvented as landscaping mulch
* Every bit of paper from cardboard to toilet paper rolls is recycled
* Scrap metals, tin, steel, aluminum, and iron are all sorted, collected and recycled
While our multi-tasking Facilities team leads the way in day-to-day waste management, it takes every single employee’s participation to really make Zero Waste a reality. Our Director of Sustainability, Alyssa, conducts ongoing staff trainings to help employees understand how, where, and why we recycle, compost, and reduce. Alyssa and Mike work together to continuously strategize and problem solve how to manage the “stuff” of a company our size.
Tackling the big tasks is one of Mike’s favorite parts of his job: “I like solving the problems and finding the best solutions.” Of course, he adds, “there’s always room for improvement!”
Happy Earth Day!
Posted by|21 April 2014
Where would we be without mothers, moms, grandmothers, aunts, and strong feminine mentors?
Whatever the original purpose of Mother’s Day, for me, it is an opportunity to honor and be honored—to extend sweet gestures of appreciation to the women in my life who have guided and inspired. As a mother of adult kids, I cherish not-so-long-ago memories of hand-drawn cards, hand-picked bouquets of sweaty dandelion flowers, and messy homemade breakfasts. Now, my kids get together with some of their friends and partners every year and host a brunch for several of us “moms”—we enjoy sharing the day with others and reminding ourselves that it takes a community of strong female role models to nurture the future.
Maybe you’re looking for the perfect gift to honor Mom this May 11th, or you might want to create something truly personal for those you claim as Mother figures in your life? Whoever she may be, we’ve put together an inspiring herbal gift guide to suit every sort of mom…
Our Picks For…
The hiking, gardening, sporty, and rugged mom might be happier with gifts supporting her life-on-the-go than a bouquet of flowers. How about our Tea-to-Go glass tea infuser and some of her favorite nourishing herbal tea?
Our Joint Care extract and Arnica & St. John’s Massage Oil can help soothe tired muscles after a day of strenuous exercise and the Bug Out Repellent and Zinc Sunstick will keep her skin healthy and happy no matter where she might wander.
If she’s up for an herbal adventure, perhaps Foraging and Feasting—a field guide and wild food cookbook by Dina Falconi might inspire her!
The New Mom
New moms need extra pampering and some gentle reminders that self-care is as important as infant care! Our Nurse-Me Rhyme tea is a delicious, caffeine free combination of certified organic herbs to support breastfeeding mothers – and what could be easier than making a cup with one of these quick to clean Celestial Tea Strainers?
Our Green Tara Aroma Spray is an uplifting body mist or room spray created to promote calm, comfort and emotional balance and this delicious lightly-floral scent will surround a new mom with mellow garden aromas. Our gentle Rose and Lemon Facial Washes are another soothing gift—we create them ourselves in our kitchen from organic ingredients. Paired with a soak in a warm bath with Relaxing Bath Salts, the mother of a wee one may just be ready for anything!
Perhaps the new mom on your Mother’s Day list would love some homemade body care creations? Check out all of the adaptable recipes for lip balm, perfume, body scrubs, and more from this sun-inspired blog post. Your special touches are the perfect way to send care and comfort when it may be most needed!
The Mom Who’s Desperately-in-Need-of-a-Spa-Day
While a weekend away at a luxurious spa would be wonderful, it just might not be in the budget (money or time-wise). Fortunately, you can put together a nurturing spa-in-a-basket for the nurturer in your life.
Our organic Cleansing Grains can be used to exfoliate, while the Wild Rose Oil and Wild Rose Facial Toner will leave Mom’s face feeling pampered and restored. After a facial, a soak in the Midsummer Herbal Bath Salts with orange essential oil will add another layer of rejuvenation. This homemade Vanilla Mint Honey Scrub smells amazing and is an all-natural way to polish and moisturize, leaving Mom’s skin soft and happy. Follow the scrub and soak with one of our delectable therapeutic massage oils like Autumn Moon, Goddess Dreams, or Rose Moon for the ultimate regeneration.
Our certified organic Easy Day tea is the perfect hydrating beverage for a home spa day – delicious served up hot or cold – and flavored with sunny hints of berry and mint.
If your mother shines in the kitchen, why not spare her searching for the finest organic and Fair Trade ingredients and put together a collection tailored to the recipes she loves? The Epicurean Organics line of seasoning blends, peppercorns, salts, and culinary oils is created to inspire and satisfy the home cook who wants organic, high quality, and delicious—all at a reasonable price.
You might consider adding some organic vanilla beans or make your own vanilla extract by pouring 1 pint of vodka or brandy over 3 chopped vanilla pods in a clean jar, covering, and allow to infuse for several weeks. Shake the mixture daily to help thoroughly infuse the flavors. Our organic Saffron, Nutmeg, and other baking spices would be welcome additions to the foodie basket too.
If you really want to add a homespun spicy touch, why not create custom-made spice jars for your favorite mom—whether tucked into cork-topped glass spice jars or our super convenient stacking spice jars, you can choose the fresh, organic, bulk herbs you know she’ll use and enjoy. Toss in one of our favorite books, The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride and you’ve got a gift basket to please the most discernible foodie palate!
What can you do for the mom who never has too many books - just too few book shelves? Add a few new titles to her collection like Homegrown Herbs, 21st Century Herbalists, Herbal Healing for Women, Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, Naturally Healthy Skin, or Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art.
You can also gift some cozy additions to her reading nook. Pure beeswax candles will produce a warm, comforting glow for hours of toxic-free light. Plus, what’s an afternoon spent enjoying a new book without a cup of tea? One of our favorite teas to read by is our Memory Zest herbal tea – full of delicious “brain” herbs to help with alertness. Tuck all those great reads into one of our Support Organic Agriculture messenger bags and Mom can take her library on the go!
Since our moms, aunts, grandmothers, and wise women mentors have helped shape and guide us, we honor them by celebrating their individuality!
Here are some more Mother’s Day inspirations:
Happy Mother’s Day Planning!
Posted by|20 April 2014
There is no denying that spring is here. Even if you still see a dusting of snow on the ground or the air is a bit crisp, the earth is awakening to the songs of the season! We’re heralding the birth of new growth this morning with a tea as beautiful as it is tasty…
Spring Celebration Tea
1 teaspoon organic Raspberry Leaf
1 teaspoon organic Peppermint Leaf
1/2 teaspoon organic Dandelion Leaf
1/2 teaspoon organic Lavender Flowers
1/2 teaspoon organic Lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon organic Hibiscus Flowers
Measure all ingredients and place in a tea infuser or a tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 3-5 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to expand the ingredients to make a whole pot. This also makes a delicious cold tea served over ice.
This tea is best enjoyed while wandering the spring garden or enjoying a gorgeous sunrise!
Posted by|18 April 2014
We’ve been receiving quite a few inquiries lately regarding our organic Ginger Root Essential Oil. Did you know that there are actually many different types of Ginger Essential Oil on the market? I would like to shed a little light about what we carry here at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Ginger root is a widely known and used warming spice. There are endless recipes out there that call for fresh or dried Ginger root, from juicing and sodas to medicinal tea blends, homemade fire ciders, chai, cookies, soups, and more. It’s a longtime favorite among herbalists and foodies alike. The essential oil can be made from either the fresh or dried root, each creating a unique aroma. Where the plant was grown also greatly affects the aroma of the oil. Some of the main producing countries include Sri Lanka, India, Nigeria, and Jamaica. You can also find a carbon dioxide extracted oil on the market, ginger absolutes, and oleoresins. Again, all creating unique aromas.
Here are the characteristics of our organic Ginger Essential Oil, steam distilled from the dried rhizome:
Aroma: Ginger has a warming pungent woody aroma that dries out to be light and spicy. I highly recommend testing ginger oil on a perfume testing strip or cotton ball. The aroma straight out of the bottle can be very overpowering, and you can miss all of the complex subtleties in the scent as the oil dries out.
Color: Translucent yellow
Viscosity: This oil feels thin and dry when rubbed between the fingers. It drops easily out of a reducer cap, but not too quickly. This oil may thicken over time as it is exposed to air during use.
Common Uses: Ginger has an affinity with the digestive system (we do not recommend ingesting essential oils). The essential oil is also stimulating, astringent, and antibacterial. In perfumery and aroma blends, ginger adds a grounding exotic spicy note.
Spicy Spring Aroma Spray
1 oz glass bottle with small mister top
1 oz organic Cucumber hydrosol or organic Witch Hazel extract
6 drops organic Grapefruit essential oil
4 drops organic Ginger Root essential oil
2 drops organic Lavender essential oil
Combine all ingredients. Shake before use and enjoy!
Posted by|17 April 2014
Nothing says “team building” like sharing a creative experience together! This past Saturday, our shipping manager Kris (sitting, third from the left in the second row), invited the entire shipping team out for a painting party at Vino and Vango in Springfield, Oregon.
A mix of 22 employees and their enthusiastic partners showed up for the artistic adventure! Most had never painted before and everyone was laughing and having a good time as they all painted from the same image of Multnomah Falls. In addition to the good company, snacks, and creative inspiration, they each got to take their masterpieces home!
Posted by|15 April 2014
I’ve been making a lot of liquid soap blends for around the house this week, much more than usual because we just moved! With the move came an extra bathroom which meant, yep, I needed more soap. I love using Castille Soap in as many ways as possible, it lasts forever, and is an affordable natural product. I’ve used it on my hair as shampoo, as dish soap, and as a general house cleanser. I learned that diluting it is the best way to go and adding other ingredients like essential oils can create fun scents or extra anti-microbial action.
This week while I was playing with castille soap and my favorite blends from our Spring Aroma Sprays blog it dawned on me just how wonderful the Thieves® blend would be for a hand soap! The lingering warm and spicy blend of cinnamon, cloves, and cleansing lemon and eucalyptus are sure to please guests and help keep my home healthy and happy. This blend is full of powerful herbs that legend tells us held strong even against the plague! That is exactly the sort of force I want in my hand soap — and dish soap too! For this hand soap blend, I also added a tiny bit of vegetable glycerin, feel free to add more if you like your hand soap more moisturizing. I found just 1 Tablespoon in an 8oz container worked wonders! My hands were smooth and soft and smelled amazing!
What you’ll need:
8oz container - or you can reuse an old container!
1oz container (travel size)
2 1/8 cups distilled water
5 Tbsp organic Liquid Castille Soap
2 Tbsp organic Vegetable Glycerine *optional
Pitcher for blending essential oils
This essential oil recipe will bring you to a total of 120 drops, which is enough essential oil blend to make two 8oz bottles of herbal hand soap, plus two travel size herbal hand soaps to store in your purse or in the glove box of your car.
40 drops organic Clove Essential Oil
15 drops organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops organic Rosemary Essential Oil
*If you have Cinnamon Bark at home, that will work fine for non-sensitive skin – however, Cinnamon bark is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin, so reduce the amount by half. I went with CInnamon Leaf for a more delicate hand soap.
In a medium pitcher or small bowl mix together distilled water, liquid castille soap, vegetable glycerin if you are using it, and your blend of essential oils. Stir lightly, don’t agitate too much or you could be quickly consumed by bubbles! Using a funnel, fill your two 8oz bottles and lastly your two 1oz travel size bottles!
The castille soap will give you the suds necessary to really scrub off any dirt or grime you may get on your hands this spring season, and the wonderful blend of antiseptic essential oils will leave you feeling that much more refreshed and cleansed.
* Essential oils are highly concentrated, strong, and powerful liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly. This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We advocate caution when using them, and do not recommend using essential oils internally. Please keep essential oils out of reach of children. We do not advocate usage of this recipe on babies, toddlers, or children.
Thieves® is a registered trademark of Young Living Essential Oils, LC. Mountain Rose Herbs is not affiliated with Young Living Essential Oils, LC in any way.
Posted by|14 April 2014
Clucking happily atop rolling country hills and bustling city backyards, our precious hens provide the richest and most delicious protein nuggets around. Here’s one of my favorite herbal infused egg recipes to help inspire you when that basket fills up. Especially festive this time of year, the sweet and spicy beet brine imparts this gorgeous shade of magenta while the creamy curried yolk filling brings a pop of gold to the plate. Show up to the potluck with these beauties and watch everyone’s eyes grow wide with wonder. They’re super tasty too!
Pickled Curry Deviled Eggs
2 cups water
1 cup organic white vinegar
3 small organic beets, washed and sliced
1 organic shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp organic sugar
½ tsp organic fenugreek seed
6 hard boiled local organic eggs, peeled
6 egg yolks
2 Tbsp organic mayo
2 tsp organic Dijon mustard
1 tsp organic curry powder
1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice
¼ tsp organic cayenne powder
Fresh cilantro leaves or chives for garnish
Combine all of the pickling ingredients (except for the eggs) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Allow the brine to cool slightly and then add the peeled hard boiled eggs. Use the beet slices to submerge the eggs in the brine. Let the eggs marinate for at least two hours in the fridge or overnight.
Remove the eggs from the brine and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and in a separate bowl mash them together with mayo, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the yolk filling into the eggs and then garnish with fresh cilantro and a dusting of curry powder.
Posted by|13 April 2014
Some Sundays are about resting up, recharging, and giving the immune system a chance to recover. When I’m feeling a little worn down and wanting to ward off any inkling of illness for the coming week, this tea gives me a medicinal vitamin boost, as well as the yummy herbal flavors I crave…
Perky Boost Tea
1 tsp. organic Echinacea angustifolia Root
1 tsp. organic Rose Buds
1 tsp. organic Rosehips
½ tsp. organic Wild Cherry Bark
½ tsp. organic Dried Lemon Peel
Scoop all ingredients into a tea infuser or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 5-6 minutes. This makes enough for one cup, but feel free to multiply for a full pot. Put your feet up and enjoy!
Posted by|11 April 2014
Henna is a natural plant-based coloring application for the hair that is made from the powdered leaves of the desert shrub Lawsonia inermis. Other botanicals such as Indigofera sp. and Cassia obovata are added to the Lawsonia to create different henna colors. We offer 6 beautiful henna shades created from these botanical combinations. Choose from: Black, Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, Mahogany, and Red.
Our new 6oz size comes packaged in a reusable and recyclable tin. The 1lb bags of henna now come in a reclosable stand-up kraft bag that is compostable once the zipper is removed, and our 5lb bulk bag is still available. Each henna product that you purchase comes with our Guide to Proper Henna Use, complete with instructions and helpful tips.
Posted by|10 April 2014
We mixed up our favorite organic culinary oil, seasoning blend, and salt combos for sampling at the 24th annual Chefs’ Night Out — a fundraiser for our local food pantry, Food for Lane County. Kori and Mason had so much fun chatting, answering questions, and sharing in the culinary festivities with the 1100 guests who attended. We felt great knowing that we were playing a part in raising more than $75,000 to provide 225,000 meals for our neighbors in need!
We shared savory tastes from our Epicurean Organics line of gourmet seasoning blends, artisan salts, whole peppercorns, and fine culinary oils! Our Epicurean Organics line is certified organic and we donate 2% of every Epicurean Organics sale to the Organic Consumers Association.
Posted by|09 April 2014
Spring flowers are blooming and that means the Herb Fairies will be returning soon!
To celebrate their arrival, let’s make one of their favorite tea recipes…
Plantain Fairy Tea!
Plantain is thought to be the 2nd most common weed we find here in the US after dandelion, and thankfully it offers wonderful food and medicine. The leaves can be eaten in salads when young and tender – before they become tough and stringy with age. When used medicinally, the soaked seeds offer slimy demulcent action and the leaves are often used to make a “green bandage” or chew poultice for drawing out splinters and relieving bug bites. Dried leaves can also be infused to make a nice soothing and nutrient rich tea.
Posted by|08 April 2014
We are getting ready for the best Free Herbalism Project event yet!
Spring has sprung here in beautiful Eugene and we can’t wait to celebrate Herb Day with an amazing lineup of free herbal classes, free tea, and blooming wildflowers galore.
You are invited to join us for a spring plant walk, a street herbalism workshop with Occupy Medical, and a hands-on lecture about aromatherapy and the many uses of essential oils with California author and herbalist Kathi Keville! This time around, the event will be a fundraiser for Occupy Medical and the American Herb Association! All profits raised during this event from the sale of t-shirts, essential oils, books, and other herbal merchandise will be donated to these two amazing organizations.
Pacific Northwest in Springtime
To begin the festivities, Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies will take us on a trip through the forest to meet our wild beauties of spring! From lilies and orchids, to violets and Oregon grape, come learn how to identify the gorgeous blooms around you, discover their names and uses, and gain a deeper understanding of their ecosystems. The number of participants for this walk will be limited, so please arrive early!
12:30pm to 1:30pm
Sue Sierralupe is the clinic manager and lead herbalist for Occupy Medical, a free integrated healthcare clinic in Eugene, Oregon where she treats community members and advocates for access to healthcare.
Sue will give a brief history of the Occupy movement, the clinic itself, and the evolution of the herbal medicine movement in America. Learn how to set up your own clinic and which herbs to start with for successful patient care.
2:30pm to 5:00pm
Aromatherapy ~ The Fragrant Art of Healing
Kathi Keville has been teaching and writing about herbal medicine, aromatherapy, herb gardening, and ethnobotany for over forty years. She is the co-author of Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and will be joining us to demystify the practice of using essential oils for health and healing. This will be a very special class for anyone interested in including these concentrated herbal oils in their medicine cabinet. Come experience a world of good scents with aromatherapist and herbalist Kathi Keville!
Aromatherapy ~ Natural Skin Care ~ Ritual ~ Perfume ~ Relaxation ~ Energizing
Essential Oils ~ Hydrosols ~ Aromatic Plants in the Garden
and much more…
What is Herb Day?
Herb Day is an international celebration of herbs and herbal products that is packed with events aimed at educating and sharing ideas about the many ways herbs bring joy and wellbeing into our daily lives. We celebrate herbs in food, beverages, medicine, beauty products, and crafts, along with the art of growing and gardening with herbs. Herb Day is a grassroots movement and its events belong to everyone who chooses to participate. Although May 4th will be the focal point of our celebration, we encourage you to commemorate Herb Day any time of year!